This treatment modality is thought to promote wellness and optimize overall health. Green tea therapy should be used with, not in place of, standard cancer therapy.
What does green tea therapy involve?
Green tea comes from the leaves of the same plant (Camellia Sinesis) as black tea but differs in its preparation. Green tea is consumed regularly in many Asian countries to promote health and satisfy thirst.
How is green tea thought to promote wellness and optimize overall health?
Green tea is reported to lower total cholesterol levels, reduce platelet coagulation, decrease blood pressure and enhance the immune system. Green tea may also lessen the risk of cancers of the upper digestive tract. Green tea contains active compounds called polyphenols, and several studies have shown that these polyphenols act as antioxidants and may possibly inhibit tumor formation and growth.
What has been proven about the benefit of green tea?
Animal studies have reported that green tea polyphenols reduce the potential spread of cancer cells. Seventeen human studies on the preventive effects of green tea on cancer have been identified and reviewed by the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Ten of the seventeen studies showed that the consumption of green tea had a protective effect against the development of several cancer types. However two studies had opposite findings. Green tea may be consumed for its health promoting effects but should not be thought of as a curative therapy.
What is the potential risk or harm of green tea?
Side effects of tea consumption include insomnia, nervousness and heart rate irregularities due to the caffeine in the tea. Patients with sensitive stomachs may experience heartburn, reduction of appetite or diarrhea due to the tannin and chlorogenic acid content of the tea. Green tea interferes with absorption of alkaline medications. Patients taking any medicines should check with their health care provider before beginning tea therapy.
How much does green tea cost?
Green tea can be purchased in bulk or as packaged tea bags. Bulk tea can average from $30 to $60 per pound. Packaged tea bags begin at $2.50 for 12 bags.
For additional information:
University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
Complementary/Integrative Medicine Education Resources
1515 Holcombe Boulevard
Houston, TX 77030
Telephone: (800) 392-1611
Web site: http://www.mdanderson.org/departments/cimer/
Note: Information about therapies is intended to help you make informed choices, not to endorse any particular therapy. The information is courtesy of "Integrating Complementary and Alternative Therapies for Cancer Patients," a handbook written as an independent study project by Heather Morein. For more information, see the full text of the handbook (PDF), including all references and appendices.